4 augustus 2020 – The Indianapolis 500 will continue without an audience later this month. After the rapidly rising number of COVID-19 infections, fans will not be attending the biggest one-day game of American sport for the first time in history.
Last year, some 300,000 delirious fans watched Simon Pagenaud capture the crown jewel of the IndyCar, making the Indianapolis 500 the largest one-day sporting event in the world.
It had been clear for some time that such a mass meeting would not be possible under the current circumstances. After the traditional date of late May had to give way and the race was moved to August 23, the organization was convinced that half of the tickets could still be sold. A few weeks ago, that plan had to be adjusted to a quarter of the number of visitors.
That also seems too high and so the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was forced to not allow fans for the 2020 edition. The Indy 500, which is otherwise a real folk party in Indiana, will have a completely different experience this year.
“It is with great regret that we have to announce that the 104th edition of the Indianapolis 500 will continue without fans,” it said in an announcement. “We were committed to continuing the race at 25 percent capacity this year, but COVID-19 trends in Indiana have deteriorated.”
“We stated from the beginning that the health and safety of our community would come first. Admitting spectators is no longer justified in the current climate. We were looking forward to showing the investments and improvements to the track, but this is the right decision. We are already looking forward to welcoming all our loyal fans back in 2021. ”